Advanced satellite radar interferometry for deformation monitoring and infrastructure control in open-cast mines and oil/gas fields

  • Janusz Wasowski
  • Fabio Bovenga
  • Raffaele Nutricato
  • Davide Oscar Nitti
  • Maria Teresa Chiaradia
Technical Paper


We focus on the use of advanced multi-temporal interferometry (MTI) for mapping and monitoring of ground deformations caused by open-cast mining and hydrocarbon production. We also show how MTI can be exploited to monitor the stability of infrastructure in adjacent areas. Open-cast mines represent a good target for MTI, because they are (1) often very large (from few to tens of km2); (2) free of or covered by sparse vegetation; (3) require long-term regular monitoring. The operational deformation monitoring via MTI can now rely on free of charge medium-resolution Sentinel-1 data, consistently and regularly acquired by the European Space Agency (ESA) since 2014. To illustrate the application potential of MTI based on Sentinel-1 data, we present the case study of the Belchatow mine (Poland), one of the largest open-cast mines in Europe. We stress that thanks to wide-area coverage; space-borne MTI represents a cost-effective approach to monitoring ground/slope instability hazards in large open pits, as well as the stability of the associated engineering structures and facilities. On-land oil and gas fields are also often huge and ground deformations induced by their exploitations can be profitably targeted by MTI. This is illustrated through an example of MTI application from the Middle East that relies on high-resolution (3 m) radar data. The example highlights the possibility of obtaining extremely dense (spatially continuous) information, which is important for monitoring complex ground deformations caused by oil field exploitation.


Radar interferometry Deformation monitoring Open-cast mine Oil field Infrastructure stability 



Sentinel-1 and TerraSAR-X data provided, respectively, by the European Space Agency (ESA) and German Space Agency (DLR).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNR-IRPIBariItaly
  2. 2.CNR-ISSIABariItaly
  3. 3.GAPsrl c/o Department of PhysicsUniversity/Polytechnics of BariBariItaly
  4. 4.Department of PhysicsUniversity/Polytechnics of BariBariItaly

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